Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Author: Lisa See Language: English Summary: In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese … Continue reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Empowering Chinese: textbook for travellers, students and expats

Author: Bryan Westra

Language: English

Summary: From the author: “In this book I guide beginning learners through ten exciting lessons and help them to acquire a useful and hand-picked set of words and phrases. The main goal: helping you to communicate what your mission requires you to say – and say it with style and ease! This means you will NEVER learn sentences by heart, unless you choose to, and only provided that you’ve totally grasped how the sentence structure works. The approach aims at unterstanding the language. To achieve this, a story plot brings you embedded grammar, fun and realistic usage of Mandarin Chinese. You’ll get a variety of exercises and the opportunity to practice!” Source: amazon.com

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Balzac and the little chinese seamstress

Author: Dai Sijie

Language: English

Summary: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined. Source: amazon.com

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Journey across the Four Seas: A Chinese woman’s search for home

Author: Veronica Li

Language: English

Summary: This is a true and touching story of one Chinese woman’s search for home. It is also an inspiring book about human yearning for a better life. To escape poverty, Flora Li fought her way through the education system and became one of the few women to get into the prestigious Hong Kong University. When the Japanese invaded, she fled to unoccupied China, where she met her future husband, the son of China’s finance minister (later deputy prime minister). She thought she had found the ideal husband, but soon discovered that he suffered from emotional disorders caused by family conflicts and the wars he had grown up in. Whenever he had a breakdown, Flora would move the family to another city, from Shanghai to Nanking to Hong Kong to Bangkok to Taipei and finally across the four seas to the U.S. Throughout her migrations, Flora kept her sight on one goal: providing her children with the best possible education. – Source: Amazon.com

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Buy Me the Sky: The Remarkable Truth of China’s One-Child Generations

Author: XINRAN

Language: English

Summary: With journalistic acumen and a novelist’s flair, Xinran tells the remarkable stories of men and women born in China after 1979 – the recent generations raised under China’s single-child policy. At a time when the country continues to transform at the speed of light, these generations of precious ‘one and onlies’ are burdened with expectation, yet have often been brought up without any sense of responsibility. Within their families, they are revered as ‘little emperors’ and ‘suns’, although such cosseting can come at a high price: isolation, confusion and an inability to deal with life’s challenges. From the business man’s son unable to pack his own suitcase, to the PhD student who pulled herself out of extreme rural poverty, Xinran shows how these generations embody the hopes and fears of a great nation at a time of unprecedented change. It is a time of fragmentation, heart-breaking and inspiring in equal measure, in which capitalism vies with communism, the city with the countryside and Western opportunity with Eastern tradition. Through the fascinating stories of these only children, we catch a startling glimpse of the emerging face of China. – Source: Goodreads.com

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Prezzemolo e Cilantro

Author: Antonella Moretti

Language: Italiano

Summary: Assieme a Luisella, Astrid ed Emma, le protagoniste di questo romanzo, le voci delle altre italiane che vivono nella loro comunità expat creano un intrecciarsi di storie che danno a vita ad un romanzo corale nel quale molte espatriate si potranno ritrovare. Come può essere la vita di un’italiana in Cina? Quali sono le difficoltà, le opportunità, le differenze rispetto a quella condotta in madrepatria? Il libro, seppur con la leggerezza di un romanzo, rende un quadro realistico di quella che è la quotidianità delle espatriate in Cina, le loro sfide, l’entusiasmo e la fatica di vivere immersi in una diversità culturale che è al tempo stesso affascinante e incomprensibile. Da leggere se sei espatriata, o se vorresti esserlo. Da far leggere ai mariti che lavorano all’estero, per far capire loro che essere “sposa accompagnante” non è sempre così facile come sembra. O semplicemente da sfogliare se c’è la curiosità di scoprire come vivono gli italiani dall’altra parte del mondo. – Source: Amazon.it

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